§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
THE PAYMASTER-GENERAL (THE DUKE OF SUTHERLAND)
My Lords, this Bill empowers county councils in Scotland to abolish police districts formed under Section 58 of the Police (Scotland) Act, 1857. Section 58 of the 1857 Act empowers a county council, if it is of opinion that a distinction ought to be made in the number of constables appointed in different parts of the county, to divide the county or any part of it into police districts, and to fix the numbers of constables to be appointed for each district. If the Secretary of State approves of such division, then under Section 59 of the 1857 Act each district pays, as local expenditure, the expense of the salary and clothing of the constables appointed 414 for it, while the remaining county police expenditure is defrayed as general expenditure by all the districts in common. Section 58 provides that where police districts have been formed, their extent may be altered; but the Secretary of State has been advised that there is, as the law stands at present, no power to abolish police districts or re-absorb them in the county. It has been represented that it is desirable that such power should be conferred on county councils, because the continuance of certain police districts is no longer required, and leads to unnecessary work and expenditure in connection with police accounting. Last Session this Bill passed through all its stages in your Lordships' House without discussion, but owing to lack of time it made no progress in another place, and therefore has to go through your Lordships' House again. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Duke of Sutherland.)
§ On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.